Should we teach patriotism?

David Archard*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


This article examines a particular debate between Eamonn Callan and William Galston concerning the need for a civic education which counters the divisive pull of pluralism by uniting the citizenry in patriotic allegiance to a single national identity. The article offers a preliminary understanding of nationalism and patriotism before setting out the terms of the debate. It then critically evaluates the central idea of Callan that one might be under an obligation morally to improve one's own patriotic inheritance, pointing to the ineliminable tension between the valuation of one's own patria by its own terms and a detached critical reason. It concludes by suggesting that we are, in advance of our education, members of a particular patria and that any education must be particularistic. Finally, the danger is noted of presuming that, in each case, there is a single, determinate national tradition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-173
Number of pages17
JournalStudies in Philosophy and Education
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jan 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Civic education
  • Critical reason
  • Liberalism
  • Patria
  • Patriotism, nationalism
  • Pluralism
  • Tradition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Philosophy


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